Photo by Doral Chendweth III
Photo by Alysia Peyton
Monday June 3, 2002
Agnes has worked as a live-in domestic worker for several years and says the separation from her two children has been devastating. But her sacrifices are paying off as she prepares to build her new home and celebrates her daughters recent graduation with a bachelor of commerce degree.
For nine years Alfred has lived in rented accommodations. He has saved for a place to call his own, but the cost of daily living has kept him from accumulating enough. Of his partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Alfred says, "It is nice to have a friend who encourages you to long for a better life and future."
Allister serves as chairperson for his stokvel (see related story) and thanks God for the opportunity of leadership. He appreciates the trust put in him by the others in his group regarding their finances.
Amelia Maisenyane is a single mother of a son named Mthokozisi. She works night shifts as a security officer. She particularly looks forward to living in a safe, quiet neighborhood.
For several years, Bathenis two children have lived apart from her, because she did not have enough space. Batheni is comforted by the knowledge that if anything happens to her, the children will have a home to call their own.
Beatrice Hlakanyane is a 73-year-old widow who has tried to own her own house, but failed over and over again. She and her four children will celebrate together when her dream finally comes true during the Jimmy Carter Work Project. Beatrice says she thanks the Lord for giving her such wonderful kids who didnt say: "Our mother is too old. Let us take her to an old age home."
A natural leader who volunteers time to other organizations, Bheki is also chairperson for his group of Habitat for Humanity homeowners (see story). Since his mother died last year, he has assumed responsibility for his two sisters and brother. Partnering with Habitat gives Bheki an opportunity to own a real house (he currently rents a makeshift structure).
For more than 25 years, Bongani has lived with his mother at her place of employment. They share a small room, which they have to use for all their needs. His one child also stays with them. Building in partnership with Habitat for Humanity will help him to realize his dream to establish his own household.
Bongekile, which means "the hard worker," has worked hard to support her children. She could not afford to rent a big room and as a result she has been unable to live with her children. "This is a big chance for me and for my children. I have never owned anything, but now I am going to have my own house," she said.
Bongekile is a single mother of four children. She lives in a four-room house, which is overcrowded. "Luckily for me, I heard about Habitat for Humanity so I took a chance and applied," she says. "With Gods help I succeeded, and now I am going to be one of the proud owners of the Habitat for Humanitys houses."
A widow and mother of four children, Boniwe is a native of the Eastern Cape, where she left her children in care of her sister when she moved to Durban in search of work. Boniwes life in Durban revolves around her church, where she is a member of the Methodist womens group. She says having her own home would give her permanent security. "I dont want to pay rent anymore," she says. "If I had a house here, I would bring my children to live with me. I need my family to stay with me."
Busani came to Durban seeking employment and now works as a machinist at Zenzeleni Clothing Manufacturers. Married with three children, Busani is staying in a shack. Owning a simple, decent house will be a great achievement for his family. He says his involvement with Habitat for Humanity has taught him not to focus on himself only, but to help others who need help.
Busisiwe was born in Umkhumbane, where her family stayed in squatter camps until they moved to KwaMashu, another township in metropolitan Durban. But her dream has always been to live with her mother and her two children in a decent house in a safe place. Busisiwe works as a caterer for weddings, funerals and parties.
Celiwe Edistar Mngadi
As a young woman, Celiwe left home and came to Durban to further her education and find employment. A plan to live with relatives did not work out. Homeless, she found help from a church, which helped her financially and sent her to college, and she graduated with a teaching certificate. Celiwe says that getting a Habitat for Humanity house will give her the joy of having a decent place for her two children.
Clarice Zami Zama
Clarice says Habitat for Humanity has helped her learn how to save money ( see related story ) and given her the opportunity to meet and work with new people. Clarice is very happy that she and her four children will finally get a chance to live in their own house and experience a sense of fulfillment.
Cordelia and her husband presently live in a garage with their two children, a 12-year-old and an infant. Smiling, Cordelia envisions her Habitat for Humanity house: "I thank God, because here we are always getting sick from the cold and wind. The new house will be good because we will no longer be paying rent for a bad place. We will be paying now for a real home."
Cynthia is a domestic worker in Durban. When she applied to become a Habitat for Humanity homeowner, she made sure to gather all the necessary information, so that she would not be turned down. She also attended all the homeowner education sessions and served her "sweat equity" hours on Saturdays. She thanks God for giving her the strength to do all this, so her house will be among the 100 built during the Jimmy Carter Work Project.
Cyril Majola is a 33-year-old man with two children to care for. He could not go on in their one rented room and turned to Habitat for Humanity for help. In addition to giving him an opportunity to own a house, Cyril says partnering with Habitat has helped him to understand and communicate with different people from all kinds of cultures.
Cyril Van Zyl
Cyril and his mother live together in rented accommodations, and he also supports his four children and the children of his brother and sister. Owning a real house will make it possible for all the family to live together in one place.
After paying high rents for years, Deborah says God is answering her prayers by giving her just what she needsa house. She says getting a house will be like a new start, and she will enjoy being closer to town. Deborah also looks forward to continuing the team spirit that formed within her homeowner group. (see story)